ARM posts 15 % jump in first-half profit

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Johannesburg – African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) [JSE:ARI] has raised concern over volatile operational conditions as the company posted a 15% increase in headline earnings for the six months to end-December 2017.

The company, chaired by billionaire Patrice Motsepe, said the rand-dollar exchange rate, proposed mining regulations and the prevailing socio-economic environment present uncertainties as it moves into the second half of its financial year.

“Re-engagement between government, the mining industry and other stakeholders on Mining Charter III is positive for the South African mining industry and is contributing towards improved investor sentiment,” said the company.

Headline earnings for the six months to end-December 2017 jumped from R1.693bn to R1.945bn, lifted by improved income from its manganese division, ARM Coal, ARM Copper and the Modikwa platinum mine.

The ARM mining consortium owns a 41.5 % stake in Modikwa, with the remaining 50% held by Anglo American Platinum.

The improved performance hiked headline earning per share (HEPS) to 1 023 cents, from 893c in the same period a year earlier.

The diversified mining company declared a dividend of 250 cents per share, amounting to R549m.

It stated that commodity prices are expected to remain volatile.

The controversial Mining Charter introduced last year, which sets targets for black ownership and participation in the sector, has been rejected by the industry.

In February, a judicial review of the Mining Charter was put on hold as the Chamber of Mines, which represents 90% of stakeholders in the industry, and government agreed to renegotiate the charter.

ARM shares were up 9.40% on the JSE at R115.75 shortly after 14:00.

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